PEOPLEText: Naoko Ikeno

An interesting project ‘Transmission‘ focusing on creativity has started in Singapore. Especially the country’s new media scene is rapidly growing in the Eastern Asia. The new launched web site has Shynora’s artworks, and its printed version features eBoy‘s piece. They also have a plan for an exhibition. This will be a noteworthy project mixing on and off line. We interviewed Phunk Studio, the producer of transmission project.

First of all, please introduce yourselves.

We are :phunk (studio), a collective of information junkies / creatives. We studied graphic design from the same art school. We hanged out in college, got together to form :phunk after we graduated in ’94. It started in an informal fashion, but slowly evolved to become what it is today.

Please tell us about Phunk studio. What kind of activities are you doing there?

:phunk (studio) are Jackson Tan, Melvin Chee, Alvin Tan and William Chan. We are currently working on the :transmission project, popular psyence (an international popular culture zine), Plastic (a series of illustration developed from dingbats, to be made into a animated music promo video), design fonts as guerilla fonts, making our own ‘brand’ of clothings and etc…

What made you produce the Transmission project?

The chance to share, communicate, showcase, work with like-minded creative individuals we admire. It is also a combination of a few things we like, www, design and publishing. You can never do a print magazine with popup windows animating in your face…an online magazine seems the most and sensible and natural way to publish the articles we are creating.

Who are involved in making this?

:phunk and our contributors and collaborators from all over the world. The contributors are submitting their own personal works to showcase on the e-zine as well as new works (based on the Utopia brief) to be featured in the book. We also have partners such as UpperStorey to help solve the technical problems of the web-site design. We also have a group of writers who contribute stories as well as co-edit the e-zine for us. It is a collective effort, we wouldn’t be able to pull it off ourselves.

Please tell us about the contents. Who did you feature and what kind of things does the first issue have?

The first issue sets the tone and structure for the future issues. It was based on Debut as the theme, showcasing exciting new talents such as Shynola, Plastic, Neomu and Andre Weismeyr. Issue 2 will be based on the theme PLAY. The magazine has 4 main sections – Main Artist Feature: Profile and interview of Artists Gallery, Showcase of works Culture: Stories from various cultures Community, Articles about the various creative communities, Contributors Profile: Featuring the works and words of our contributors.

How would you define the personality of this e-zine? Are you going to do off line activity such as print and exhibition?

I guess it’s kinda offbeat and a bit cheeky… we were experimenting on a new design format for the site, to breakaway from the standard way of experiencing an e-zine/web page. We wanted the windows to work harder than they usually do in an unconventional but most natural kind of way. Web pages were just getting too predictable, we wanted to provoke, entertain and arouse the audience. We had a number of feed backs about the site, some really hated it and freaked out, while others absolutely loved it… it’s a new approach, we got a reaction from taking chances. Like most of our stuff, it’s either you love it or you hate it, there is no grey area. There is still a lot of possibilities in the concept to explore. We are still having fun playing around and improving on it. There will be a BBS and Radio for exchange of views and gossips as well as broadcast of music we dig.

Besides profiles and features of creative individual, we also intend to publish offbeat articles from popular culture, things like toys, old kung fu comics, The e-zine is part of the :transmission project which includes a yearly book and cd-rom release as well as the bi-monthly web-site and seasonal release of limited edition posters. We are also planning to do an exhibition tour of the major cities when the book is released.

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